BUSINESS SHORTS

SkyEurope Airlines in the black

SLOVAK low-cost carrier SkyEurope Airlines has made a profit for the first time in its history.

SLOVAK low-cost carrier SkyEurope Airlines has made a profit for the first time in its history.

During the fourth fiscal quarter, ending in September, its earnings before tax and interest (EBIT) totalled €14.3 million (Sk474.6 million), the Hospodárske Noviny economic daily wrote.

“With continued strong growth, the company saw its sales rise by 22.1 percent in the fourth quarter, on the back of carrying 1.1 million passengers compared to 991,000 in the same period a year ago,” said airline spokesman Tomáš Kika.

The airline started earning a profit even though it reduced its fleet.

For the whole financial year to September 2007, the airline posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rental of €9.6 million. It recorded an EBIT loss of €55.2 million in 2006 and €33.6 million the year before.

“We focused, and will continue focusing in the future, on strengthening sales, better using assets and significantly reducing costs, while maintaining the growth,” said SkyEurope Airlines financial director Nick Manoudakis.

The company also said the decisions to change some routes paid off. SkyEurope switched some routes, such as those to Bucharest and Sofia, from Bratislava to Vienna in late March after it learned that many Austrians travelled from Bratislava to these destinations.

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